Corp Spotlight: Bluecoats 2014

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Known to many Bluecoats fans as the year of “Orange is the New Bloo”, The Bluecoat’s 2014 production “Tilt” solidified their rightful place among the top corps in the world, placing 2nd overall in finals; up 3 places from the prior season. “Tilt” centered around the idea of tilting everything on the field, including the field itself! Using a massive orange tarp and orange ramps as their props, the corp tilted and adjusted every little detail of their show, even how they held their horns.

The show begins with marimbas playing a vertigo inducing run accompanied by a trumpet soloist. The corp, starting at the back sideline, do a series of acrobatics to get to their instruments at the front of the field, the opening chords are powerful, with tilts and curves introduced everywhere in the corp’s sets, ending the opener with a tilted block set.

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The show continues into a intermediate section between the intro and drum break, using dissidence in their chords combined with interesting section/individual parts to enhance the show further. The end of this section is signified by the corp’s famous “Bloo!”, tilting their bodies in sync with a chord shift. Next the drum break begins, utilizing the props and choreography of their members to take this drum break to the next level, featuring quads teetering on ramps and snares being rocked forward and backwards by guard members. The drum break ends as the entire battery lines up on the front of the orange tarp “sideline” with an energetic last hit before settling down for the ballad.

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The Bluecoat’s ballad featured the song entitled “Hymn of Acxiom”, which so happens to be my favorite ballad piece in a DCI show. The hymn starts out soft, gaining more and more momentum, before bursting into a beautiful chord with the entire hornline lined up on the orange sideline. There are simply not enough words to describe the feeling you get when you hear it for the first time. As the ballad draws to a close, the snare line begins the transition from the ballad into to the shows closer.

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The closer consists of a variety of different textures, including contra and trumpet features, and more outstanding brass hits. The show ends with the corp using a piano to shift the pitches to create an unbelievable effect, capping the show off with one last brass hit and a corp member running and jumping off one of the ramps into the arms of the colorguard. Although the corp finished 2nd, this show goes down in the DCI books as one of the best shows in Drum Corp history.

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This ends out corp spotlight! As always, click here to view the “Tilt”. I also highly recommend watching the lead trumpet player and soloist Ben Gunnarson’s final practice GoPro run here to gain a different perspective on this amazing show!

 

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